The battery is by far the most expensive component in an electric vehicle, so estimating how long it will last is an important consideration if you’re thinking of switching to an EV. One way to look at it, however, is by asking: How long will an EV battery last before I have to pay to replace it? The short answer: With few exceptions, your EV battery is guaranteed to work significantly longer than an engine in a gas-powered car is, and in most cases, your battery will outlast the rest of your car’s lifetime. The longer answer comes in examining what’s under warranty. For electric vehicles, the federal government mandates that manufacturers warranty a battery for a minimum of eight years/100,000 miles.

In California, that mandate is 10 years/150,000 miles.1 A few vehicles even offer unlimited-mile coverage on their batteries. By comparison, most powertrain warranties on gas-powered vehicles (which includes the engine, transmission, and transfer case) are for five years/60,000 miles.2 The minimum warranty on an electric vehicle battery exceeds that of the average powertrain warranty by three years/40,000 miles. That’s a quarter of the lifetime of the average car on the road today.3 Understanding the Battery The main battery type in electric vehicles is the lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries revolutionized portable technology because they are lightweight and “energy dense,” meaning they can carry much more energy per mass than other battery types.

This has made them light enough to make electrified transport possible. With increasing economies of scale, lithium-ion battery prices have dropped by 97% since 1991 and continue to keep falling.4 Since the battery is by far the most expensive component in an electric vehicle, experts predict that the sticker price of an EV will be cost-competitive with comparable gas-powered cars in the next two to three years.5 An EV battery is a pack of individual battery cells, each about the size of a AA battery. They are bound together physically and electronically with circuitry and software to regulate the charging and discharging of energy. A battery pack might have 96 individual cells, grouped in eight modules of 12 cells each.

Read more: How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?